The growing hype around Sam Darnold’s return to the Jets’ lineup Sunday against Dallas at Met Life
wasn’t the only thing buzzing around Florham Park Saturday.
The release of quarterback Luke Falk also was adding to the mix.
Or maybe it just means the Jets are totally convinced Darnold is mono-free and spleen safe.
Whatever the case, the “franchise” will be back under center late tomorrow afternoon.
A practice squad quarterback who had a history with head coach Adam Gase and was pushed into
service when backup Trevor Siemian broke his ankle, Falk never really looked the part as he
completed 47 of 73 passes for 416 yards with three interceptions. He also was the victim of
16 sacks behind the Jets’ porous offensive line. He doesn’t really look like NFL stock and maybe
the upcoming XFL can be an outlet.
The Jets surprisingly kept David Fales as Darnold’s backup. The little-used Fales is a 29-year-old who has
Bounced around with five other teams since 2014.
It’s easy to question why the Jets haven’t signed a veteran backup like Sam Bradford or Brock Osweiler
just for the sake of a seasoned backup.
Darnold is cleared and excited to get back on the field.
But do you feel totally confident about his situation before the game? Do you think the Jets totally do?
This is putting your future and franchise back on the field behind an offensive line that has looked
more like a matador waving a red flag to the defense.
If Darnold is truly 100 percent, he will be more mobile and more aware than Falk was to the
rush around him.
Darnold has downplayed any of the hype that he is retuning too soon to try and salvage something
from a 0-4 start.
“I think having a couple weeks of practices under my belt is a good thing,” he stressed. “It’s definitely
going to help with that, but there’s nothing like Sunday and I think going out there and going out there
and playing the first couple series, I think will be a little bit of a shock to the system, I guess you could
say. But I think I’m going to be ready and hopefully, after those couple series, I think, I’ll feel right at
Darnold will face a Dallas defense that was uncharacteristically rattled last week by New Orleans, a unit
many feel can carry them to the NFC East Championship. The Cowboys are ranked sixth overall, allowing
an average of just 18 points a game and 321 yards.
Cowboys’ middle linebacker Jayson Smith is the league’s ninth-rated tackler with 45 stops and two of
the team’s 12 sacks.
However, Darnold’s return can alleviate some pressure from running back Le’Veon Bell, who
has been bottled up with 206 yards without a touchdown.
Darnold also can look to Ty Montgomery as more of a run/pass option, and the Jets need to get Bilal
Powell more into the scheme of things.
Everyone will be able to totally exhale once Darnold scrambles out of the pocket or throws a target
down field and can get back up after a hit.
The franchise — not “Sanchise” like in the past – will be back and Jets’ fans once again can dream the
“impossible” dream 50-plus years later.